Cars, mobile phones, laptops: nothing works without chips

Status: 03.02.2022 12:32 p.m

Many industries continue to feel the global shortage of semiconductors. Numerous products can only be manufactured with a delay. Chip producers like Infineon benefit.

By Jan Plate, ARD Stock Exchange Studio

Cars are increasingly becoming computers on wheels. The software gets an update via the Internet. In an electric vehicle, the battery and power consumption have to be managed, and many other individual parts have to be controlled to prevent accidents from happening.

Full order books, ongoing bottlenecks

The chip manufacturer Infineon has – also thanks to the pressure from the car manufacturers – already got more capacities from contract manufacturers, but at the same time there are seven to eight percent more chips in the cars every year. Infineon is happy about that. The car business, which accounts for around 40 percent of group revenues, remains the growth driver for the Munich company. This, together with a favorable exchange rate, has given Infineon a good start to the 2022 fiscal year. Sales climbed five percent to 3.15 billion euros, which was 20 percent more than in the same period last year.

The demand for semiconductors is still significantly higher than the supply. The Infineon management estimates that the delivery situation will remain tense in some areas well into the year. Chip makers around the world are ramping up their investments to meet ever-increasing demand. Infineon alone intends to spend 2.4 billion euros in the current fiscal year by the end of September. But it takes a long time to build factories, to start them up – so the bottlenecks will remain longer.

Chip manufacturers arouse desires

The failed takeover of the Munich chip supplier Siltronic has just shown how popular chips and German technology are. A Taiwanese company did not get a chance. The Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection had not granted the necessary approval by the end of January. Technology and knowledge should be protected. The European Union, in turn, wants to invest billions in chip promotion. The share of global production is to be doubled to 20 percent. Europe wants to become less dependent on other chip producers and suppliers.

However, some investors are still skeptical on the stock exchange today. The Infineon share loses. Traders are saying there are some concerns that the cycle may be nearing its peak.

ARD-Börse: In great demand – when will it be available? How is the chip market doing?

Jan Plate, ARD stock exchange studio, February 3, 2022 11:58 a.m

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